Seaspiracy: To Watch or not to Watch?
A recent Netflix documentary ‘Seaspiracy’ has left viewers feeling overwhelmed and shocked to learn about the claims the film makes regarding the corrupt fishing industry. As advocates and lovers of the ocean who actually live in a floating vessel with a sole focus on the plastic crisis, we too felt alarmed after watching the film. Since its release the film has received a lot of controversial information, backlash, and criticism from marine biologists, fisherman, scientists, and ocean conservationists. We thought we would chime in on the subject as we have now spent the last six months sailing the Sea of Cortez learning a lot about how we can truly protect our oceans.
The overall message of the film highlighted the corrupt fishing industry much like a previous documentary, ‘Cowspiracy’. The solution that was presented, aside from raising awareness, in order to save our oceans we must stop eating fish. While sailing, we have learned that the oceans are in big trouble and there is no denying the truth in this matter. There are many complex issues that we are facing today and many are rooted in systematic issues. However, we must look at the claims made in the film from a circular view.
Let’s first start by saying, we aren’t in full support or negating the entirety of this film. We have a much more non-bias opinion as we see both a positive and negative aspect to the issues it has addressed. The increase of awareness whether that be factual or misleading is giving the ocean the rightful attention it deserves. Without the ocean and it’s incredibly diverse marine life, we as a human species would not be able to exist on this planet and that simply is a fact. With the rise of false information being spread it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused with the many narratives or agenda’s at play. It is incredibly important to remember that we are always aiming for progress over perfection in our efforts to create long lasting change.
What we don’t support in the film is the solutions being offered as potential ‘vegan propaganda’ and the way it called out many of the organizations such as Surfrider Foundation, Oceana, and Greenpeace that have spent countless decades fighting the plastic crisis. We strongly feel that call-out culture is not the answer to solving our world problems. What we found even more off was that during the release of this film the bill Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act 2021 was in the US Congress. Many of these organizations had affiliations with putting together this bill. One organization that is in full support of this bill, is 5 Gyres who is our partner company where 5% of all our sales goes directly to their efforts in fighting plastic pollution in the oceans.
So, what do we feel is the solution to this ocean crisis from a circular view? We must consider all parties involved. When we begin addressing issues from the ground up, we will begin to solve the systematic issues at play. Not eating fish is not the solution for everyone as many countries rely on this as the sole protein in their meals. According to FAO expert, Ichiro Nomura, Assistant-Director General for Fisheries, "Over 852 million people on this planet don't have enough to eat. That certainly doesn't promote sustainable development. Millions of medium- and small-scale fishers and fish farmers, often very poor, depend on fishing and aquaculture. For FAO, fishing and aquaculture are first and foremost about people earning a living and putting food on their tables, and we do think it can be done sustainably. Fishing and fish farming contribute to food security in three main ways. They directly increase people's food supplies, providing highly nutritious animal protein and important micronutrients while doing so. Fish food also "fill in the gaps" during times when other food is scarce. Finally, fishing and aquaculture provide jobs and income that people use to buy other foods.”
If you want to boycott the commercial fishing industry with this new awareness, by all means you have every right to do so. We as a CLARYTI team are a mix of vegans, and plant-based eaters with occasional fresh caught fish off our boat or spearfishing. We have all agreed to reduce our overall consumption. Some other alternatives are to learn how to fish on your own or eat more seaweed and algae for the omega benefits. If you have already been on the journey to reducing your plastic consumption, don’t let this steer you away. This issue is just as important and often doesn’t get the spotlight needed to make a big enough impact. And lastly, remember to get outside and spend time in nature. Give back to the land and explore regenerative agriculture or CSA programs to change the way you consume your food.
Your’e doing enough especially if you’re reading this article. We will never solve world hunger in a day and as long as you feel in your core that you are doing your part in making a difference and doing the inner work, you are the change we all need in this world.